I’ve been a self-proclaimed fan of fans for a while now. I’m especially in awe of those who fuel their passions with their talent in order to create amazing projects to the delight of their fandoms. It is my pleasure then, to feature the masterwork that is the online version of Cyvasse, the chess-like strategy game from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. The game was developed by Alex McRitchie, who was nice enough to answer some of our questions about his process and inspiration for the game.
A quick summary first: Cyvasse, as it is mentioned in the series, is a two-player game that is very popular in Essos and with characters like Tyrion Lannister and Myrcella Baratheon. The game is played with ten pieces with different move sets, which the players can arrange in whatever configuration that they wish. The goal, like the goal of many of our favorite characters from Game of Thrones, is to kill your opponent’s king. In order to claim victory, you must set out with a good strategy in your initial set-up but also be able to make quick tactical decisions based on your opponents moves. Gee, sort of seems like an allegory for winning the Iron Throne, no?
Check out our interview with Alex below to learn more about the game
SC: First, how would you explain the importance or role of Cyvasse in the A Song of Ice and Fire series?
AM: Cyvasse only plays a minor part in the forth and fifth books of the A Song of Ice and Fire series, being a board game played in Dorne and Essos. Like many board games, it can reveal aspects of a person’s nature, which makes it a good medium for filling in details of characters.
AM: I strived to make the rules reflect all cyvasse quotes in the books, and this is what we know about the game.
- The names of all the pieces used
- There are two players that create their army’s opening array in secrecy
- Dragons may fly over mountains and are the most powerful piece in the game
- Trebuchets can take dragons
- One player has multiple elephants
- The goal is to kill your opponents king
It should be noted that there a quotes about a catapult taking a dragon, and a fortress existing, but the quotes did not validate that these events can happen.
With this foundation to cyvasse, I created the rest of the rules based on my philosophies on game design.
SC:We really love the design and the neat features in the online version ofthe game! Do you have any plans for updates or maybe an app for iOS and android?
AM:It is important to me that cyvasse.io is as fun as possible to its users, as I believe the A Song of Ice and Fire community is one of the greatest, so I will totally keep updating it. As for an app version, that is while off, but I bet I get it out before Dany gets to Westeros.
SC:We’ve noticed a fairly active player presence. How have you promoted the game and tried to get it out there to fans What has been the response from players so far?
AM: Thank you, the community has been super supportive of cyvasse.io. I really enjoy reading the emails from fans, and they all have really great ideas! As far as promotion goes, a friend of mine, posted cyvasse.io on a couple reddit threads and it took off from there.
SC: How are your cyvasse skills? Is there a strategic set-up that wins every time? (If there is, we certainly haven’t discovered it)
AM: I would say I’m about a 7 out of 10. There are much more talented people than me playing on cyvasse.io, and there is no perfect set-up by virtue of the mystery of your opponent’s set-up.
AM: That’s a though one, my guess has not appeared on Game of Thrones yet, but book readers/listeners will know him by the alias Young Griff.
Thanks again, Alex, for talking to us! We hope to see an update with a player chat and auto-refreshing homepage soon!
What about you, readers? Will you play Cyvasse? Is there a Fan Masterwork that you think deserves to be featured? Let us know!
(catlynsnow on cyvasse.io)